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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > April
Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 24, 2003


Elections in Nigeria

Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission on April 22 declared President Olusegun Obasanjo the victor in last Saturday’s presidential election.

The United States congratulates the overwhelming majority of the Nigerian people for what was a peaceful exercise of their right to vote in many parts of the country. They have demonstrated their patience and their unwavering commitment to building democracy in their country. The widespread violence predicted and feared by many did not happen.

International and domestic election monitors have reported that in some states they witnessed widespread voting irregularities, as well as procedural flaws, particularly in collation and counting of votes. Nigeria’s electoral laws provide for investigation and redress, and we urge all persons and parties with complaints of electoral misconduct to present their evidence to the competent tribunals. The tribunals should consider those complaints in a timely, impartial and transparent manner and take all appropriate corrective action.

The United States commends those political leaders who have called on their supporters to remain calm. We call on all parties to resolve differences through peaceful, legal means. We appeal to political parties, the Obasanjo Administration and the National Assembly to act expeditiously to end electoral abuses and ensure the integrity of the electoral system.


Released on April 24, 2003

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